Brooder set up, does this look right? Safe?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by curiositykt, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. curiositykt

    curiositykt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi - my 5 baby chicks don't arrive until next week, but I got the brooder all set up and did a test run yesterday and everything seems to be going well.

    I have a few questions though - will the screen on top be enough or do I need to put something over it to keep it down (How much force can a jumping/flying baby chick exert?) It's just a screen from a screen door draped over the box

    Do I have two feeders or a feeder and a waterer? I have a feeling that I accidentally bought two feeders... The guy helping me at agway was annoyed at me so I didn't really look closely at what he was handing me..

    Is it a good idea to have the roosts in when they are only a week old?

    Approximately how high should I plan to hang the light at to get it about right for 90 degrees? I don't have a thermometer.. though I may just pick one up this afternoon.

    Thanks!

    [​IMG][​IMG]
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  2. spartacus_63

    spartacus_63 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That will work for a while. I'm personally not a big fan of cardboard brooders, but they work fine and are easy. The best thermometer will be the chicks themselves. They will take many naps throughout the day. If they are bunch up together, it is probably to chilly for their liking. If they are dispersed, it is to hot. You will know almost immediately. The screen top will be more for keeping things out than in until the chicks get bigger. I usually do not have a top on my brooder as I have nothing that goes after my chicken nuggets. You may have to introduce them to the feeder and the fountain. Once they figure it out, you will not have to worry about them again. It is best if the water and food are elevated some. Chicks start scratching at an early age and it seems that no matter what you do, the litter in the brooder will end up in the feeder and the fountain. Just watch them to see if the eat and drink. Keep an eye on their vents looking for pasty butt. Other than that, they are very easy.

    Have fun.
     
  3. curiositykt

    curiositykt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My other option is plastic tote, which would be smaller - is there a good reason to switch to that? They will be entirely safe from things coming to get them in the garage, there are no predators in there, the screen is just to keep them from flying out.
     
  4. MarieNC

    MarieNC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 10, 2010
    I use a plastic tote with some hardware cloth over top. I also put a small towel over part of the screen so that they can get away from the heat if they want to. I find mine sometimes out in the heat and sometimes in the shade. And BTW, you have two feeders, there! I prefer the ones with the holes for the little ones.
     
  5. curiositykt

    curiositykt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 4, 2012
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    The feeder with the holes has a label on the canister part that says "waterer" I suspect it just had the wrong base attached.. I'll pick up a real waterer this afternoon! Oops!
     
  6. Mrs. Feathers

    Mrs. Feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with the cardboard not being my preference. As they get bigger the water will be spilling (they are messy little creatures as they grow) and you will find that the bottom of the box gets wet which is not a good environment for your chicks. Not saying don't use the cardboard as I know others do and like it...just watch the bottom for wetness if you do use it. A large rubbermaide type tub works great for small numbers of chicks We have used that in the past for up to 18 the first couple weeks. We have a new puppy so right now our 10 newest chicks are in one of those bunny cages with the plastic bottom that goes up about 7" to protect them from drafts. First time I have used it and I really like it because we can see the chicks and the air circulates well (warning...they will get stinky [​IMG] no matter how dilegent you are with cleaning).
    Your feeder and waterer are just fine. If your chicks are day olds put some marbles in the waterer so they won't fall in and drown. Looks like you will be able to easily adjust your light height with that set up which is good.
    Have fun with your new chicks and [​IMG]

    This is a great place for all questions.
    Oh...by the way...photos of new chicks are essential [​IMG]
     
  7. Mrs. Feathers

    Mrs. Feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2010

    Oops...here too...I just looked at your photos again and yep that is the wrong base...you'll have a flood with that one [​IMG]
     
  8. CitySilkies88

    CitySilkies88 Out Of The Brooder

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    About the cardboard boxes as brooders. If you are worried about water spilling and soaking the cardboard floor simply take a rubber mat (or tote lid) and put in on the side of the brooder you are going to place the waterer. Then cover the rubber mat with a good layer of bedding. Then you won't have the issue of the cardboard soaking through :).

    I also have been using a large indoor rabbit cage as a brooder for my chicks. I love it! Because like the poster above mentioned, the plastic bottom prevents drafts but the metal wire top provides plenty of ventilation. I connected all my cage walls and set that on place on top of the plastic base. I decided not to connect to the metal top to the walls. My reason behind that was that I wanted to be able to take that off when I am home to surprivise, that way they can fly to the top and perch. They also enjoy perching on the little rabbit door when open on the side. But I always put the top on at night/when I am not home. Because it is secure and if the bulb was to fall it would be caught by the strong lid, which would prevent a fire in the brooder.....Or atleast I hope so.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  9. kjt135

    kjt135 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I like the hampster bottle from walmart. Can't make as big of a mess and no chance of them drowning. Just attach with a piece of wiire to side of brooder. Just a idea.
     
  10. curiositykt

    curiositykt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought rabbit/hamster waterers didn't work with chickens! I am all for this plan if it's a tried and true since they won't get as much water in the bedding too... Plus I plan to get them on nipple waterers when they go into the coop.
     

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